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Exploratour - Evolution of the Solar System, page 16 - Windows to the Universe

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Our Glaciers: Then and Now activity kit helps you see the changes taking place in glaciers around the world. See all our activity kits and classroom activities.

Exploratour - Evolution of the Solar System

This is a drawing which shows where the Kuiper Belt may be located.
Click on image for full size

Beyond the orbit of Pluto is a region which contains objects which look like planetismals. The objects are very small, and not very bright. It takes hundreds of years for these objects to go around the sun. Because they move so slowly,finding them is difficult. Where these objects came from and how they got there is still a mystery, but they probaby condensed with the planets as part of the original solar nebula. The region is called the Kuiper Belt, after Gerard Kuiper who first thought of it. The first object in the Kuiper Belt was discovered in 1992.

This picture shows the region of space where the Kuiper Belt is. In this picture, the observer is looking down on the solar system from above. The picture shows a region from the sun to 120 AU. The earth is so close to the center of the drawing that it does not show up.

This region is sometimes called "trans-Neptunian space" because even the planet Pluto could really be part of the Kuiper Belt.



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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Look at the bed below the body of the sleeping man. You can still see where he was lying down. The heat from his body warmed up the bed sheets which are now radiating infrared light toward your eyes....more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

All warm objects (not just people) release infrared light. Warmer objects give off more infrared light. Very hot objects radiate other types of light as well. Click on the picture to see the infrared...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

What kinds of light can people see? Our eyes can see visible light. When it passes into our eyes different types of visible light create different sensations that we see as colors. ...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Imagine you found a pair of special glasses that not only gave you telescopic vision but gave you the ability to see all forms of radiant energy. The universe in visible light contains all the familiar...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a volcano on the island of Miyake in Japan. It has erupted, sending hot lava and ash into the air, a total of ten times. The time after one eruption until the next occurred was about twenty years...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a picture of a galaxy in visible light. A galaxy is a large number of stars, some like our sun, some bigger, some smaller and all moving together through space. This galaxy is called Centaurus...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a plant in Gary, Indiana where power is made. We use power to run things like television sets, radios, lights, and microwave ovens. The picture looks very strange because it was taken in infrared....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF